229 Lake Avenue Traverse City, MI 49684 (231) 943-2053 http://rarebirdbrewpub.com/
Brewpub... beer brewed in house, also including what I like to call guest taps. Basically the best of both worlds.
Where to begin... Stellar beer, check! Outstanding food, check! Great atmosphere, check! Fun staff, you betcha! I can say without question that while visiting or living in TC, this is my favorite place to get my drink on. You can walk in like I did this past Saturday and see twenty taps designated for a Founders Tap Take Over. You just don't see that, unless you're at Founders of course. Rare Bird does make their own beer, and it's EPIC! Now I've never met the head brewer Tina, but I truly admire her work. It's a damn art form, and if you don't believe me just ask me. Here's a list, Local Vocal IPL, Tres Hundo Triple IPA, No Pressure Imperial Stout, Freshy Fresh Sesh Harvest Ale, Double Butt Belgian Double, Chief's Coconut Brown Ale, El Fresherino Harvest Ale, CoCo Puffin Wheat Pale Ale, Son of A Bee-Sting Honey Blond Ale, Nomi IPA, Do Nothing Hippie IPA, Strong Brew Porter. Honestly I could keep going. I'm going to focus on two beers I had this past weekend. First, Sugar Bits Double Rice IPA 8.7 ABV, holy fuck! ***disclaimer*** This will be a PG-13 rated blog. Oh wait, I cannot promise that in good conscious. It may get R-rated from time to time. I didn't earn the nick name TA-DA for keeping my clothes on. Back to the beer though... Sugar Bits blew me away. Sweet, hoppy, full body, citrus, and just the right booziness. This is a real IPA. I rated it a 4.25! I then went with Sad Girls Stout 5.3 ABV. Describe as "dark, sweet and salty ale made with chocolate malt, and salted caramel." That doesn't do it justice. Seriously, I gave it a 4.0 and would be hard pressed not to choose this over Founders Breakfast Stout, and that's one of my favorites. Plus it was on tap that day. I could go on and on about the Tina's work, but you just have to go find out for yourself. Don't be a fool and pass on Rare Bird's beer if in TC. If you're lucky enough, you'll meet Traverse's best bartender and my personal favorite, Rachel!
So I know the brewers name but not the chef's. I should though! Talk about a great menu. You want healthy, Hummus Board or the Beet Salad. You wanna put a little meat on dem' bones before winter, try the Fried Chicken Sandwich or The Italian Job. I've had them all. If you read my blog on a regular basis you're going to start to see a common thread. Tacos and Nachos... get them here. Pork Belly or Shredded Chicken, no mater what you decide to order you'll leave full and quite happy.
Rare Bird has quite the eclectic seating. Sit at the bar, a booth, a cozy couch, small outdoor picnic tables on a nice day, or a table fit for a king. Really though, their family seating seems like it could seat 50. Long wooden tables made out of one solid piece. Whether it's just you and your date or a bachelorette party of 20, Rare Bird can and will take care of you.
Side Notes... If you're a night owl R.B. is one of the few downtown spots open until 2am on weekends, and has a late night menu. Many different nights filled with live music. If it's a hot summer day expect to see the Paddle for Pints or Bike & Brew tour crowds. That's not a bad thing though. The bartenders and wait staff are pros. They'll get a new group of 30-40 tourists every few hours and before you know poof, gone! Great for people watching. This part isn't a knock because they're not a sports bar... only one TV on the far end of the bar. So if you're going on a Sunday and hope to see the Lions, Bears, or Packers play, you're outta luck. Not that kind of place. Trust me though, everything else about Rare Bird is stupendous.
RATING, 4.50 Pints